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"Some of us have curves. . . . Should we be trying to hide them?"
Christina Hendricks Is Making a Name (And a Figure) for Herself in 'Mad Men'

Sunday, July 20, 2008

With a near-lethal swish of her hips, Christina Hendricks has single-handedly brought voluptuousness back to television. As flame-haired, deliciously barb-tongued office manager Joan Holloway on AMC's Emmy-nominated "Mad Men," Hendricks keeps a tight wrap on her skirts and an even tighter hold on her heart at "Mad Men's" fictional 1960s Madison Avenue ad agency. A first season marathon airs today and the second season debuts next Sunday.

-- Melinda Newman

Is there some accessory that turns you into Joan?

I think the girdle and the undergarments, absolutely. . . . There's one thing that Joan specifically wears with almost every outfit, which makes me laugh: It's a little gold pen on a chain that she wears around her neck. We call it her superhero pen. She wouldn't be able to be a super-secretary without it. She can take a note at the drop of a hat!

Justin Timberlake brought sexy back; can we credit you with bringing curvy back?

[Laughs.] Sure! I'll take that.

What type of comments have you gotten from people about Joan?

I get men coming up to me and saying, "Oh, my gosh, you're Marilyn. It's so refreshing to finally see that on TV.". . . I had one woman come up and say, "Watching you on TV makes me proud to have curves and be a woman in [Los Angeles]." . . . Some of us have curves. We have a little booty and we have breasts and why on Earth should we be trying to hide them?

How did reading Helen Gurley Brown's "Sex and the Single Girl" help you prepare for "Mad Men"?

Matt [Weiner, "Mad Man" creator] told me that my character was loosely based on [her] books, so that did help as far as the mentality of what a secretary or what a woman at the time would accept or what was expected of her: Just to get your head in the frame of if your boss is out to lunch too long and his wife calls, these are maybe some of the excuses you should have on hand.

This is your first show that's gotten picked up for a second season. How has being on a successful show changed your day-to-day life?

All my friends are like, "What are you doing? We never see you. You're not in knitting club, you're not at this." . . . It's certainly not a complaint, but as far as how it's changed my life, it's like, "Oh, this is a much more full-time career than it was a few years ago, I better be on top of this!"

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